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FabFatMama reviews! – Creams Cafe Middlesbrough

Hi all!

A few weekends ago me, my mum, Adam and Eleanor went out for some dinner together in Middlesbrough. As my mum was having Eleanor for the night, me and Adam decided to try out a new dessert place together and spend some time together before going home.

Middlesbrough is erupting with new places to eat/drink and we’re really spoilt for choice whenever we head out. I knew however that I wanted to head to Creams at some point and was glad when we decided to pop in.

The interior is gorgeous.

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It’s clearly part of a chain and is immaculate an really sticks with a black and purple theme. There are various styles of seating such as booths, tables with tub chairs and tables with normal chairs so there’s really something for everybody’s comfort

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There’s so many icecreams on offer and you can get cones, tubs and custom sundae’s. There’s also a menu full of ready made combos including crepes, waffles, milkshakes and other drinks. We sat for ages trying to decide but finally decided on a sundae each.

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I went for the classic banana and toffee split. If I’m honest I was slightly disappointed. The banana was fresh and the cream and sauce was lovely, but after that it was just whipped ice cream from a machine – I would of much preferred real scooped ice cream as the whipped stuff got a bit samey. The wafers were lovely and it was great to see the branded wafers which added a nice touch, however the tiny fudge pieces were quite hard and took some chewing. I don’t think I’d order this again and would probably go for the scoops which looked much more interesting.

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Adam went for the choc fudge hot’n’cold volcano which looked amazing and which Adam really enjoyed. Adam loves a hot and cold contrast and this sundae was full of hot chocolate fudge cake and hot toffee sauce mixed with the whippy ice cream – perfect for him. It was absolutely stuffed with cake and sauce and I was a little bit jealous watching him eat his.

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I think next time we go I’d try one of the waffles which come with various toppings and the whippy ice cream on the side, or a custom sundae with the delicious looking scooped ice creams. I really fancied the pistachio!

There’s a little bit for everybody’s price range here, from single cones to something called “the crowd pleaser” which is a huge platter of ice cream, waffles, cream and other bits. I’d definitely love to get a few people together and dig in! It’s definitely a nice place to go with the family and all the staff were warm and welcoming – plus they have disney movies playing!

What more could you want?

Hannah x

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baby · parenting · Uncategorized

A Spot On Ride. – Venicci 3 in 1 Travel System Review.

Hi all!

Today I’m bringing you a review which has been a very long time coming! This is because I’ve only really got into the third part of the travel system in the last few weeks. Finally – I’m going to talk about my pram.

When I found out I was pregnant, my mum told me she would like to buy my pram which was an amazing help as prams are expensive. If we were buying our own, we’d of got something second hand  but mum wanted us to have something new as Eleanor was going to be her first grandchild.

I initially decided that I wanted a Cosatto due to the bright colours and prints, but we just couldn’t decide on a print we both liked and so I had to look at other options. I ended up going to a local pram shop and telling them I wanted a sturdy 3 in 1 system for less than £600 which also included the car seat and they gave me a few options.

They suggested the Venicci to me and I loved it from the first second that I pushed it. I toyed between the salmon pink or the white polka dot and ultimately went for the dot as I know patterns are good for babies brain development.

I love the polka dot pattern. It’s so very me and I’d not seen the pram anywhere else which also attracted me. I was also attracted to the fact that absolutely everything you need was included such as mosquito net, raincover, changing bag and even a drinks holder. The main attraction to me though was the chassis. It’s so easy to fold, it has a large zip up bag in the bottom, a slot to host a drinks holder but best of all – it bounces. The way the chassis bounces has been absolutely brilliant and helps bounce Eleanor to sleep. It’s also great for going up/down steps and curbs as the chassis takes the impact of the movement and so baby doesn’t feel a thing. The handle is one continuous leather handle which I love – I specifically didn’t want two separate ones. Pushing the pram is so easy (I often push it with one hand) due to the wheels which swivel in all directions (but can also be locked). The wheels also have the added bonus that they all come off with one click which makes putting it in small boots a lot easier! It folds down so easily by pulling two triggers whilst pushing a button and can be put back up by pulling back a tab that keeps it together and simply lifting the handle. I struggle to lift things but find the chassis easy to lift and maneuver when folded. I love the fact that all three seats co-ordinate in colours and just click onto the chassis by sitting them into the slots and then can be removed with the push of a button which has touch memory so no fumbling to push two at once! Finally, the chassis handle has a place to hang your bag which is so helpful as it makes it so much easier when you’re looking around in your bag for items.

Car Seat

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The most used portion of our 3 in 1 travel system is definitely the car seat as it is just so convenient. We decided against getting the expensive Isofix base as we knew she would be in other family members cars quite often and just belt the seat in each time which takes around 20 seconds.

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The car seat clicks straight into the chassis so you don’t need to fuss on changing the baby from car seat to pram – perfect for when they’re tiny or napping.

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The straps have lovely padded covers which also have the dots so it’s comfortable for baby. The car seat came originally with a baby insert (which we’ve not long removed) so that you get much longer use out of the seat. The straps are adjustable at the back and are easy to loosen/tighten as needed. The car seat and cover all click off easily and can be washed which is a god send with it being white!

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The handle has nice hand shaped grooves so it’s much more comfortable to carry. It can also be clicked back so that you have better access to baby/baby can see more.

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We’ve had good use out of this car seat and will probably get another few month out of it before we have to go on to the next stage.

Pram Base

Another piece to the travel system is the pram attachment.

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If I’m honest, I didn’t use the lay down section as much as the car seat because of the convenience of not having to swap her from car seat to pram and disturbing her, but when I went out on my own I used the pram base. It felt lovely to push a “proper” pram and It had to many great features too. My favourite feature was probably the vent, which made sure air could circulate around baby whilst she was snuggled in and toasty. I also liked that the cover clipped up onto the handle so It gave a bit more coverage and was great when It was windy. The handle and hood on the pram is super easy to fold down with two small buttons and the whole base collapses into itself when you want to store It. The pram has a lovely padded mattress in which makes it super comfy for baby and it also has a mechanism under the mattress to make it sit up slightly so baby can see more.

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Eleanor is propped up here. After a few weeks she didn’t really take kindly to laying flat on her back and so being able to prop her up was great. She doesn’t even lay flat t0 sleep and screams when you lie her down so this stopped a lot of tantrums. Once again, she was obsessed with the dots on this and would roll over and try to pick them off or would sit chatting to them. With the pram having a proper mattress, it could be used as a mini travel cot and was handy for long days out/visits to family so that nap routines weren’t messed up.

Pushchair Seat

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I’ve only recently moved into the pushchair seat but I really love how easy and comfortable it is for Eleanor. It’s also really beautiful and a pleasure to push it around – I’m like a proud peacock with a beautiful pram and beautiful baby to match.

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The seat in this is adjustable via a large clip at the back and can be pulled right down flat for baby to sleep. It then has a semi sat up and fully sat up position. The hood on this is large and sun blocking with UPF 50+ fabric and alike the pram attachment, it has a vent. There’s also an extra mesh bag where the seat adjustment handle is for extra storage. I think this would be handy for snacks or things you want to quickly grab without rummaging through the nappy bag.

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It also has an extra zipped section for when the seat is laying down so you don’t have excessive hood but still have full coverage when baby is laying down. The 5 point harness clicks in really easily and can be moved as baby grows to continue having the best fit. The straps are soft and padded for comfort.

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The bumper bar has a lovely soft finish and can be detached from both sides. My only gripe is that it’s not adjustable height wise as a the moment it is nowhere near her and she can’t reach her buggy toy.

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As with all the seats, this seat can be put onto the chassis either facing you or facing away. For now I choose to have her facing me as she likes lots of eye contact and to chat away to me, but I’m sure as she grows I will change it to facing out.

Extras

As I’ve mentioned earlier the travel system comes with a few items. It comes with a mosquito net which I haven’t actually used but think I will over summer as there’s an area that’s lovely for walks but is absolutely plagued with those tiny little flies so the net will protect baba from them. The rain cover I’ve used and is easy to pop on and has a vent to talk to baby. It also folds back down easily and doesn’t take up loads of room like some covers do. The bag is excellent. Not only because it clips onto the handle but because it is compact and attractive. It has a slot either side for bottles and two internal pockets to pop items in. The bag, alike the foot muff, covers, hoods on all seats are machine washable and come out gleaming white again. I was unsure of the white at first but the ease in which it can be stripped off to wash changed my mind. There’s also a parasol which matches the travel system which I will be purchasing as summer is coming up and I want enough sun protection for bab as she absolutely hates the sun being in her eyes.

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In conclusion we love our Venicci and we are so glad the man in the shop recommended it to us as I possibly wouldn’t of picked it out myself. It’s a great price for everything that is included and is a dream to push. When I was ordering my pram my friends told me I’d be rid of it and onto my second by she was around 6 months as a lot of mums like to swap/change prams as they get bored but I still love mine as much as the first day that I pushed it. I hope Venicci extend their range into some compact strollers but keep a lot of the same quality features – I would definitely purchase one! Oh and next level car seats too as this one has been excellent.

So here’s to many more days pushing my Venicci with my happy, beautiful baby inside. If you’re thinking of purchasing a travel system – Venicci is the way to go.

Thanks for reading!

Hannah x

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From drab to fab – My office overhaul!

Hi all!

I have recently moved house and have been having the fun of doing all the rooms up to our taste. Having a three bedroom house with only one child meant that we had a spare box room. As I am a keen crafter/machinist I decided to take over the room as my craft room/office which will be useful when I start making baby clothing to sell! It’s good to have your own space and be able to leave work out and just close the door behind it.

The room was a mess when we first moved in. The walls had holes, there was a built in bed which was filled with rubbish, half a carpet and a badly boxed in staircase. This room initially became the dumping room whilst we sorted  the more important rooms out and so it got put on the back burner for a few weeks; however once we got the ball rolling with the room it came together pretty quickly.

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The first thing we had to do was remove the bed. The room is pretty tiny so it had previously been used as a child’s room with a bed built into the space. We removed the bed which came out in small chunks and unfortunately couldn’t be salvaged and given to somebody else like we’d hoped.

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When we removed the bed we found out that only half of the room had been carpeted and so we would have to think of something to do with the floor such as a new carpet, laminate or stripping back the floorboards. We also found a ton of old lego, toys, rubbish and general dirt. I got the lovely job of cleaning this up!

Once the bed was ripped out it left a huge hole in the wood that was boxing in the stairs. Adam decided he was going to rip the rest out and rebuild it so that it looked better and was bigger so I could use the area as a built in pattern cutting table/place for storage.

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Next, we decorated. I have an obsession with flamingos and knew I wanted flamingo wallpaper. I looked at a few different styles but settled on this amazing collaged flamingo blown vinyl paper by Albany from Wallpaper Direct. The Flamingos have all sorts of different peach, pink, grey and black tones running through the paper and it’s so gorgeous.

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I made the decision to just wallpaper one wall as it is such a busy pattern. The other walls we painted in a deep grey in a matte finish called Storm Cloud. I’m a huge fan of grey, I think it always looks really modern and always sets off other colours well. I have grey in almost every room in my house in various different shades to support the feature walls. I think grey looks nicer and Adam paints magnolia/white every day at work so wanted to steer away from those colours!

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The final really cosmetic decision to make was what to do with the floor. I was keen to sand and paint the floorboards but Adam wasn’t as keen on this idea as some of the floorboards were uneven/gappy, however they were fine after being sanded down and nailed in properly.

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Adam mixed the colour for the floor himself which is a very light grey and goes beautifully with the rest of the room. He made this from using white undercoat mixed with dark grey undercoat. Adam sanded down each floorboard, painted it and then sanded it again so it now has a super soft feeling to it and is lovely to walk on.

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I had most of the furniture for my office already but needed a few bits just to finish it off. I bought this chair from a massive warehouse charity shop called Daisy Chain which helps children and families affected by Autism. I paid £6 for this chair and at the time it was a pine colour. Adam found the paint in a bargain box in b & q for £6 and he upcycled the chair for me. He put around 3 coats on the chair and sanded it between coats and after. He finished the chair off by adding some felt pads to the bottom of the chair so that the floor won’t get marked.

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Another piece of furniture I bought from the charity shop was this vintage tea tray. I bought it for two reasons- one being that it’s beautiful, and one being that moveable storage is a great thing to have in such a small room. I’m using it to stack all my storage boxes and it’s working out great as I can have it right up against my desk, then put it back against the wall when I need space.InstagramCapture_f9a457af-a4dd-4cdb-947b-f1cfe2372325

These are my storage boxes. I recovered them in leftover wallpaper so that they would go with the room. I decided to do this after not being able to find anything at all online that I liked. It also saved me money not having to buy new ones! I’ll pop a tutorial on how to do these at a later date.

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I added some bits for decor such as this amazing flamingo light bought for me by my brothers lovely GF Verity!

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And a frame wall with a mix of photos, prints, handmade items and a few plaques.

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And here it is with my furniture in! My desk is of course from IKEA and has been with me since we moved into the flat in 2012! It was pretty cheap and has always been used as my sewing table so has taken quite a battering with pins/machines etc but it’s still in great quality. My record stand was actually built by Adam from some leftover spindles and offcuts of wood which he assembled together and then painted. I’ve always loved it – not only because it’s a super handy bit of furniture which fits records perfectly, but because it’s one of the first things Adam ever did/made for me and it reminds me of our early days.

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So that’s my office transformation! I think it’s a pretty dramatic change and I absolutely adore it. I just need a few finishing touches such as the right lamp shade and some touching up on the skirting boards, but i’m practically there! It’s so nice having my own little room I can keep all my crafts in and have to my taste. When you’re a mum you sometimes feel like you lose a bit of your identity and so it’s great that I can make sure I keep a little piece of myself.

Thanks for reading!

Hannah x